Let me start by saying 3 things which need to be said, and I think most of LFC fans will agree :
1. We weren’t that good as compared to City match( still did not deserve to lose)
2. This squad needs strengthening. We were laid bare.
3. We just can’t catch a break with refereeing decisions going against us.
This match brought together the two men that were at centre of the biting storm , Luis Suarez and Branislav Ivanovic for the first time.
First half : Skrtel got us to a dream start , booting a left footed goal from a Coutinho free kick on 5 minutes which sent Reds across the globe into raptures. First decision ( though we got the freekick). Samuel Eto’o should have been shown red. now let me clarify before the Chelsea fans accuse me of being too biased, had that incident happened, say 60th minute, a knee-high challenge is red card offence. I’ve seen red cards given for lesser fouls( cue Jonjo Shelvey against United). Lampard stung Mignolet’s glove who did admirably well to push the Chelsea veteran’s goal bound shot for a corner.
Skrtel puts Reds into the lead( image rights : Liverpoolfc.com)
Chelsea equalized through Eden Hazard. it was a terrific finish but was aided by Agger when the ball hit him on his standing leg and he hit a curler beyond Mignolet.
Hazard celebrates the equalisesr for Chelsea( image rights : Liverpoolfc.com)
Chelsea got the lead through Samuel Eto’o. It was poor defending by the Reds and tough luck for Mignolet when he made the save but the ball bounced off his shoulder and into the net.
Samuel Eto’o celebrates the ultimately decisive goal( image rights : telegraph.co.uk)
The Reds midfield, which was so cohesive in the City game, were harried by Chelsea players who were sent out to destroy the passing rhythm and did admirably so( David Luiz sure did a good job of booting the ball out ).
Second Half : The half started at a frenetic pace with Liverpool searching their equaliser. Frank Lampard was subsituted for John Obi Mikel ,Two Chelsea players were booked, Sakho hit the post and that was about the most lively part of the second half. The Red Midfield finally started to get some passes together and had more attempts at the Chelsea goal. Johnson tested Petr Cech with a stinging shot from the edge of the box, so did Suarez from same kind of range, but Cech was upto the task. Chelsea threatened on the counter but found little joy in he second half with the defence getting meaner( how i wish they weren’t so lenient in the first half). Allen got injured , and Rodgers brought on Smith , an Academy graduate, who in my opinion, looked a bit out of his depth, but he needs experience and these kind of matches will do him a world of good rather than break his confidence. Johnson was substituted for Iago Aspas, and i don’t think he touched the ball much, due to David Luiz simply booting out every ball that crossed centre line.
Brendan has his task cut out for the remainder of the season but he needs to buy this January.
Now, for the most contentious decision. Chelsea penalty box, Luis Suarez, Cesar Azpilicueta and Eto’o vying for the ball, AND Eto’o CHEEKILY fouls Suarez. If that’s not a penalty, I don’t know what else is. more of a penalty than what Chelsea got against WBA in my opinion. As the clock ran down, Mourinho brought on the Much-maligned-since-move-to-Chelsea Fernando Torres and tested Mignolet once with a shot from 6 yards. Time was running out for Reds and during the final minute of stoppage time when the two Brazilians, Lucas Leiva and Oscar got into a petty fight which was pretty much ,well , petty. the final score card read 2-1 to Chelsea and Liverpool will feel hard done by refereeing decisions again, though I expect a reaction against Hull City( Tigers?) at Anfield on New Year’s Day.
Mourinho out thought his protegé in the first half.
This is the first time Rodgers has lost two matches in a row since taking up the hot seat at Anfield, which speaks volumes about his acumen, despite having a thin squad. So lets not get too despondent with the result, we will get them at the fortress called Anfield. He will be without Allen, Sakho along with Sturridge though he might hope might have skipper Steven Gerrard back. Till later, YNWA.